Maryland opens Willard era with 71-49 win over Niagara

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Donta Scott scored 18 points, Jahmir Young added 14 and coach Kevin Willard won in his debut at Maryland with a 71-49 victory over Niagara in a season opener on Monday night.

Willard was named coach on March 21, 2022 after coaching Seton Hall the previous 12 seasons.

Scott was 7 of 13 from the floor and made 4 of 5 3-pointers. It was his 95th career game and he is now 56 points shy of a career 1,000. Young was 5-of-10 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and had four assists. Maryland shot 49% overall and made 9 of 20 from 3-point range.

Braxton Bayless scored 14 points to lead Niagara. Sam Iorio added 12 points, six rebounds and six assists.

A Julian Reese layup midway through the second half sparked a 12-4 surge, and Maryland led 60-43 with 4:39 remaining. Scott made a pair of 3-pointers during the stretch.

Maryland has won 46 consecutive home openers dating to the 1977-78 season during the Lefty Driesell era. It was also the teams first meeting since Maryland beat Niagara 86-70 in the opening round of the 2013 NIT.

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